Kerala – God’s Own Country is the name given to Kerala for a definite reason. Western Ghats adorned with lush green tea plantations, wildlife, waterfalls rival for attention from the beautiful beaches of the Arabian Sea dotting the coastline. You will get lost in a meandering maze of 44 rivers, canals and lagoons while cruising down a houseboat and enjoying the scenic coconut groves and paddy fields. Lets have a look at Top 5 reasons to Visit Kerala.
Why you must visit Kerala – God’s Own Country
1. People | Culture & Festivals
The people of Kerala are simple and loving. They are a perfect blend of tradition and modern day thinking. The native language is Malyalam. The culture is influenced by Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.
Festival of Onam
The festival of Onam is celebrated to mark the homecoming of King Mahabali. It marks the onset of harvest season. “Pulikali”is a common sight of performers disguised as tigers displaying hunting scenes.
Snake Boat Race
The famous “Vallam Kali” or Snake Boat Race is the highlight for tourists. 150 men dressed in white dhotis and turbans display extraordinary team spirit paddling oars in these war canoes. Cattle races across muddy paddy fields are a feast for the eyes as the tradition is 200 years old.
Thrissur Pooram temple festival
Thrissur Pooram temple festival is a display of rich heritage of Kerala. Thousands of devotees line up to watch the procession of caparisoned elephants with their colourful parasols in two rows accompanying the temple deities at Vadakkumnathan temple complex. Be there to believe it.
2. Art Forms of Kerala
Kerala is home to world’s oldest theatre forms. Kathakali, formerly confined to temples at dusk, is a classical dance performance, a complete symphony of expressions “Mudras” ,drama and musical instruments “Chenda” and “Maddalam”(country drums). The elaborate style of facial make up of female characters is called “Minukku”.
Kutiyattam, is recognised by Unesco as a “Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. It is 2000 year old living art performed in Sanskrit language in Hindu temples in Kerala.
Theyyam or God’s Dance
Theyyam or God’s Dance is a primitive tribal ritual form of worship, popular in Northern Malabar region. Hold your breath, while folk artists dressed up as mythological or divine characters in colourful attires, enact their trance like performance invoking blessings of deities, ancestral spirits and heroes.
Oppana is a wedding celebration amongst Kerala Muslims. The bride sits all decked up in jewellery and finest costumes and is surrounded by her female relatives. They sing and dance around her clapping their hands.
Kalaripayattu – is the mother of all marshal art forms. This ancient fighting system dates back 3000 years. Sit back and watch in awe, as fighters move with the agility of an animal defying the laws of gravity, locking their weapons to teach you ultimate co-ordination of body and mind.
3. Backwaters of Kerala
The backwaters of Kerala has a very unique ecosystem – fresh waters merging with Arabian Sea. The best way to explore this 900 km long waterway interspersed with canals, lagoons and lakes is a cruise on a Houseboat. Traditionally called Kettuvalams, these are majestic rice barges held together with coir knots.
Savour the local cuisine while enjoying glimpses of rural life enroute of little fishing villages, temples, drinking in the beauty of swaying palm trees playing hide and seek with the rising sun rays.
Ayurveda is a an art of healing body, mind and soul and is the oldest health care system dating back five thousand years.
Feel your senses come alive with your choice of holistic experience-panchakarma session / aromatherapy / herbal massage.
For nature lovers the evergreen tropical forests of Kerala with its rich bio-diversity has numerous wildlife and bird sanctuaries. It is a haven to wide variety of fauna like the Asian elephant, Bengal tiger, Nilgiri Tahr, Lion Tailed Macaque, Grizzled Giant Squirrel to name a few and reptiles like crocodiles, turtles, King Cobra, Python, Lizards. More than 453 species of birds can be spotted here.. Trekking trails add the thrill of adventure coupled with beautiful landscapes which are a photographer’s delight.
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